Julie in Michigan

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Inspiration for Serious Fiction Writers


The first half of Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz
 challenged me to stay tuned in. However, by the midpoint, my perspective changed and I was hooked, increasingly disappointed with each chapters end, knowing that each cliff hanger would require several more chapters to be read before I knew what would happen to my character.

My character was Bibi, a more than interesting heroine, in a coma with brain cancer. Leading a double life, she walks us through the dimensions of her imagination.  There were many times where I was disoriented, wondering, is this happening real time, a memory or a dream? The supernatural is ever present in the story as we travel with Bibi, running into the expected and intensely unlikable unexpected characters.

The question prevails, are our memories important pieces of who we are? I believe so. Pleasant and unpleasant they shape us and define us and in the end, they are who we are. We cannot erase events from our minds; although hypnotism, drugs and spells may proclaim to do so. Our childhood memories are still with us, buried deeply perhaps, but eventually we must pull them out and process them as adults. They are often gifts in disguise.

Facing her memories, this is where Bibi finds healing. The story builds from many directions, all coming together in an unexpected ending where it all it makes sense. Most importantly for me was the inspiration I found as Bibi explored how her interactions with her characters in her imagination brought them to a reality so vivid she struggled to believe they were her creations. It was recently suggested to me that I interview my characters from my writing and let them respond through the typewritten word. Bibi took this technique to a higher level. I enjoyed this book.


I received this book without charge, in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Blossom of Bright Light, A Jimmy Vega Novel by Suzanne Chazin


While this was an entertaining mystery, an enjoyable voice in fiction, the characters told the truth of a national tragedy, immigration. The story line was imaginative but so close to the truth for many undocumented immigrants who enter this country from Mexico, pinning all their hopes and dreams on their oldest and most capable child. They sacrifice so that the children can attend school, strive to learn and earn good grades in hope of a better life for themselves and often for the family as well.

Unfortunately, if the child is a girl, she is most in danger of being sacrificed to the attentions of those who would gain financial and/or sexual advantage over her from her fears for her family’s safety. The story told in this book could easily be founded on a reality. Children impregnated by older men in the community, men sometimes respected because of their success in their business, the girls afraid to reveal they have been raped by those who publicly win the approval of their friends and families. Most horrific of all is women seeking this financial advantage at the cost of a young girl’s future and the political process that overlooks the cost to many in favor of campaign dollar support.

Babies born to babies, the cycle continues with the veil of secrecy, that the girl is somehow to blame. Often her only sin is her silence, necessary to protect her family from the worst fate of all, deportation. When the family is doing all they can to stay together and the law forces parents to return to their country of origin, the children are even more susceptible to the horrors that may befall them as their family protection is lost.

The story depicted was fictional, the alignment to the truth undeniable. The author told the tale in an enjoyable fashion and I read it through in one day, which truly speaks to the author’s ability to spin a tale. Unfortunately, the enjoyment was bittersweet as I was unable to bury my head in the sand as the character’s misfortunes and disappointments are paralleled in reality.

I received this book without cost in exchange for an honest review.